Entries in Inheritance (5)


$7 Million in Gold Discovered in Dead Man’s Home

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(CARSON CITY, Nev.) -- A California woman may have a multi-million-dollar fortune headed her way after authorities found an estimated $7 million worth of gold coins in her recluse cousin’s home.

Walter Samasko Jr., 69, died in May due to heart problems and was not discovered until June, when neighbors complained of a bad smell coming from his house.

Samasko lived in Carson City, Nev., a city about 30 miles south of Reno.

When authorities went to clean out his home, they found boxes of gold coins in his home and garage.

“He was quite a hoarder. He had boxes and boxes and boxes of things,” Carson City Clerk Alan Grover told ABC News. Grover said there were many containers of food and cans.

Grover said the coins were in boxes marked “books.” There were also coins wrapped in aluminum foil and stored in ammunition boxes. There were Mexican, British and Austrian coins dating as far back as the 1870s.

There was so much gold that Grover used a wheelbarrow to carry the fortune to his truck. The coins were first moved to a bank vault and now they have been moved to armored vehicles.

Grover’s office estimated the worth of the coins at $7 million based on the amount of gold.

“We have to get it all appraised and come out with a real true figure,” he said. He added that the final figure could potentially be even larger because some of the coins might be worth more than their face value.

Samasko had no will and no immediate relatives.  He was cremated and the remains were flown to Chicago to join his mother, who died in 1992.

Using the funeral attendance list from Samasko’s mother’s funeral, Grover tracked down Arlene Magdanz, Samasko’s first cousin in San Rafael, Calif., who will most likely inherit the fortune.

Magdanz’s daughter Leslie Magdanz declined to comment.

“I don’t have any comment on this matter,” she told ABC News. When asked if her mother had any comment, Leslie Magdanz said, “She does not.”

Grover said it could take several months for the fortune to be turned over to Magdanz.

Samasko had only $200 in the bank at the time of his death, according to the Las Vegas Sun, but had stock accounts totaling in $165,000 and had been living off of his investments.

Grover said one of his first thoughts upon seeing the thousands of coins was, “What was a guy like this doing with his kind of money in just a regular house?”

He described the house as a small, 1970′s three-bedroom home of about 1,200 square feet with orange shag carpeting.

“There were no antiques, no crystal or family jewelry or anything like that,” Grover said. “You would never have suspected the guy would have that much … he certainly didn’t live that way.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Gen Z Imagines An Inheritance It Will Not Get

Fuse/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Thirty-nine percent of Generation Z (kids aged 13 to 22) think that they will be getting an inheritance -- thus, that they won't need to worry as much about saving for retirement. Only 16 percent of their parents, however, intend to leave them any money.

The two generations' different expectations are borne out by a new survey, "Generation Z and Money Survey," produced by market research company Head Solutions Group on behalf of investment advisers TD Ameritrade.

Ameritrade's managing director of investor services, Carrie Braxdale, says that up to a point Gen Z kids and their parents share the same view of the future. She was surprised to see, for example, that when both groups were given an open-ended, non-multiple choice question asking them to list their biggest concerns about the economy, they gave virtually identical answers.

Without any prompting, both groups said jobs and unemployment were their biggest worry (kids 26 percent, parents 25 percent). Their fourth-biggest concern was not having enough money (kids eight percent, parents 10 percent). Braxdale cites this as proof of just how powerful an influence the parents' financial view can be on their kids'.

For this reason, she says, it's crucial for parents to spend time with their children discussing such subjects as the proper use of credit cards or learning how to make -- and stick to -- a budget.

The survey also documents quite vividly, however, that what they think they have been discussing with their kids may not be the same as what the kids think: 38 percent of Gen Z respondents say their parents have spoken with them about saving for retirement; 49 percent of the parents say that they have.

The degree to which the youngest generation and their parents are not on the same page financially is proof that young Americans who grew up during the recession did not learn much from their parents' woes, says USA Today.

Kids in the survey were not asked why they believed they would be living comfortably on their parents' money in the future, but Braxdale hazards a guess: It's because they're living comfortably on it now.

"We can't say for sure what their rationale is," she says, "but when you're young, and your parents are providing for all your needs," it's not unreasonable to suppose that this might go on forever.

Gen Z has much less confidence that Social Security will be around to help them in retirement: 35 percent believe it won't be, versus six percent of parents. And Z's expectations about retirement are different: 51 percent of parents imagine that retirement will be a time when they no longer work for money; only 37 percent of kids expect that.

The survey of some 2,000 U.S. residents was conducted this spring -- roughly 1,000 kids and 1,000 parents. It took every participant 12 minutes on average to complete. Why would any 13-year old kid sit still that long? The fact the survey was online, says Braxdale, helped.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Half of Baby Boomers to Leave Inheritance to Kids

Nick M Do/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Trillions of dollars in wealth is expected to be transferred from the generation of Baby Boomers who die in the next half-century, but their offspring shouldn’t be expecting a cash windfall.

Only 55 percent of Baby Boomers think it is important to leave a financial inheritance to their children, according to the U.S. Trust Insights on Wealth and Worth annual study.

U.S. Trust commissioned an independent, national survey of 642 high net worth adults, who were not clients, with at least $3 million in investable assets. The study, released on Monday, includes findings on a number of subjects, including elder care planning, estate planning, and the wealthy survey respondents’ thoughts about charitable giving.

Only 44 percent of those surveyed think the wealthy have a responsibility to “pass their wealth to the next generation.” Of Baby Boomers surveyed, 31 percent don’t think it is important to leave a financial inheritance and said they would rather leave money to charity than to their children.

The study defined the Baby Boom generation as those aged 47 to 66.

“Between now and 2050, there are going to be trillions of dollars of wealth that will transfer to children and other heirs and what’s interesting is high net worth parents worry now that their children are not prepared to inherit wealth that will be theirs one day,” said Keith Banks, president of U.S. Trusts.

The top reason for not wanting to leave an inheritance are the beliefs that each generation should earn its own wealth (57 percent).  Following closely behind that, 54 percent believe it is more important to invest in children’s success while they are growing up.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


$100M Fortune Distributed, 92 Years After Man's Death

Comstock/Thinkstock(SAGINAW, Mich.) -- The descendants of Wellington R. Burt, who became fabulously wealthy in the age of the robber barons, will finally inherit his fortune -- 92 years after his death.

Burt, who died in 1919 at age 87 in Saginaw, Mich., made his wealth in the lumber and iron industries. For reasons not described in his will, he stipulated that the majority of his fortune would be distributed 21 years after his last surviving grandchild's death.

That granddaughter died in 1989. Now 12 descendants will split the fortune, estimated at $100 million to $110 million.

Danielle Mayoras, attorney and co-author of the book, Trial & Heirs: Famous Fortune Fights!, said she suspects the reason Burt chose 21 as the year stipulation was because the common law's Rule of Perpetuities. That rule forbids leaving money to anyone 21 years after the death of the last identifiable individual living at the time the will or trust was created.

Christina Alexander Cameron, the great-great-great-granddaughter of Burt, is one of the 12 heirs who agreed among themselves how to split the funds. She and her sister, Cory, will each inherit about $2.6 to $2.9 million.

Press accounts imply that Wellington Burt experienced familial conflicts, which led to the unusual will. Burt had left his children $1,000 to $5,000 annually, relatively small amounts, except for a "favorite son" who he gave $30,000 annually, according to The Saginaw News. Burt, however, cancelled a $5,000 annuity to one of his daughters over a disagreement about her divorce, the newspaper reported. Through a trust he left his secretary $4,000 annually and a cook, housekeeper, coachman and chauffeur each received $1,000 annually.

Since his death, Burt's relatives tried to break the trust in court, claiming Burt was not of sound mind when he created his last testament, and engaged in other legal disputes.

But now a court order mandates that the trust must be distributed by May 21.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Study: Baby Boomers to Inherit Trillions

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(BOSTON) -- Substantial inheritance. It's a sensation most baby boomers -- adults aged 46 to 64 -- can expect to enjoy, according to a new study.

Inheritance and Wealth Transfer to Baby Boomers, commissioned by MetLife from Boston College's Center for Retirement Research, says that two-out-of-three boomers should get something, with $64,000 being the median amount. The study anticipates an inter-generational transfer of wealth totaling $11.6 trillion, including some $2.4 trillion that has already been gifted.

Who'll get what? The study predicts distribution will be "highly unequal." The wealthiest boomer households will get by far the biggest inheritances, with $1.5 million as the average. The average for the poorest will be $27,000. Median amounts for top and bottom will be $335,000 and $8,000, respectively, according to the study.

Though the study was prepared before the economic crisis hit, John Migliaccio, MetLife's director of research, has since examined the impact of the recession on the dollar value of the wealth transfer. The recession has cost would-be inheritors $800 billion, or about 13 percent of their patrimony. "Not earth-shattering," he calls the decrease, noting that potential inheritances will recover as the economy at large recovers.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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